I'm packing to fly out for a visit to see my dad. I'll be sleeping on his futon couch in the living room, somewhat cushioned by the eggcrate pad I purchased awhile back when I was out there and realized what a solid block that old futon had compressed into. He has a one-bedroom apartment in a senior independent living building about a 10-minute drive from my brother's house. He and my mom moved there in 2005, to a two-bedroom, and then my dad moved to the smaller unit after she died in 2007. It's not the most scenic area, set amid condo complexes and shopping malls, but it's convenient and he's content there. It's better in spring or summer for me -- I've found the good places to walk, like the lovely arboretum and the park by the river, though I have to drive to those. In December it's usually gray and cold, and stretching my legs means the rather dull walking path behind the condos across the road or driving to the nearby mall to wander the shops. Anyway, it's a short visit and it'll be good to just spend some time with my dad. It will be his 87th birthday on Monday.
Meanwhile, it's alternated between unseasonably cold and unseasonably warm and back again around here. There was a storm last week that mostly delivered slushy rain where I live and snow and ice up north. We drove to D's cousin's place on Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner at 2pm to find out that our hosts had lost power all night and had only gotten it back about an hour or so earlier, delaying dinner to at least 5:30. They didn't have D's cell number and he'd stayed at my house, so we never got the message. So we ate some of the pumpkin pie I'd made, drank the wine we brought, and sat around watching football on TV until the turkey was cooked. The rest of the long weekend was generally uneventful and a nice rest for me as work has been very busy with lots of juggling of projects to meet end-of-year deadlines. We did get out to see a bit of the Tuba Christmas Concert at Faneuil Hall on Saturday, which was fun.
D will be away for two weeks visiting friends in much sunnier and warmer climes than I'm going to (sigh). That leaves me with a free weekend to myself after I get back, so maybe I can get some Christmas shopping and decorating done. I'll also have a nice break between Christmas and New Year's coming up, to see friends, enjoy the season, relax and regroup - and, hopefully, be a bit jolly!